University of Technology Sydney: Breaking down barriers to a uni education

The Eastern Australia Regional University Centre Partnership – which was announced earlier this month by Regional Education Minister Bridget McKenzie – is a collaboration of 25 universities and 16 Regional University Centres across Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victoria led by the Country Universities Centre (CUC) and UTS.

This partnership will be responsible for producing a coordinated, community-led approach to widening university participation and school outreach. It will partner with local communities to codesign innovative programs that address their unique community challenges in nurturing local aspiration and supporting access to higher education.

The Student Equity team within the Centre for Social Justice & Inclusion will lead UTS’s work in this.

UTS was nominated as the university lead because of its strong track record and innovation in attracting students from diverse backgrounds to study at UTS. UTS is the only university where student equity practitioners work within a Centre which acts as a gateway for UTS to use its resources to respond to community need; as well as building connections between community groups, not for profit organisations and government agencies to collaborate on social justice initiatives.

We want more of these talented rural and remote community members to go to university.
Verity Firth

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Justice & Inclusion) Verity Firth said she is excited to be working in partnership with local communities, Regional University Centres and other universities to break down barriers to tertiary education in these communities.

“Young people growing up in rural and remote communities face far more barriers to getting a university education than those in the city or in large regional centres that have universities in their backyard.

“We want more of these talented rural and remote community members to go to university. However, that requires us as universities to listen to communities and understand what their challenges are so that we can work together to co-design outreach programs that are going to work.”

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